Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Graham Jarvis heads into today’s start of the infamous Romaniacs Hard Enduro Rallye as leader of the 2019 World Enduro Super Series. With two consecutive WESS wins under his belt, the on form British rider starts round five of the series confident of further success and is joined by teammates Billy Bolt and Alfredo Gomez.

Jarvis comes into the 16th edition of Romaniacs on a superb run of form having won both rounds three and four of WESS – the Erzbergrodeo Hare Scramble and the recent Hixpania Hard Enduro. Enjoying a 120-point advantage at the top of the current series rankings, the experienced 44-year-old will be aiming to claim a record-breaking seventh win in Romania and with it extend his championship lead.

2018 World Enduro Super Series winner Billy Bolt continues to regain both strength and form following his off-season injury sustained over the winter. Fifth in the championship, Bolt narrowly missed the podium at the Hixpania Hard Enduro, fighting through the pack after a tough start to claim an impressive fourth-place result. Approaching Romaniacs in his best form of the season so far, the young Brit is looking to make his mark on the 2019 event.

Billy Bolt – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing

One place ahead of Bolt and in fourth in the WESS standings, Alfredo Gomez tied on points with teammate Jarvis at Hixpania after winning the first two days of racing. The Spaniard is unquestionably on form and hungry to claim his first ever WESS win.

Featuring five days of racing, with a Prologue on the streets on Sibiu followed by four days in the surrounding mountains the Romaniacs Hard Enduro Rallye looks set to be one of the toughest and most demanding events on the WESS calendar. The race will test the riders’ skill, stamina and mental strength.

Alfredo Gomez – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing

Andi Hölzl

Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing Team Manager

“Romaniacs is always a race that Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing look forward to, but this year, following Graham’s incredible result at Erzberg, we are even more motivated. The weather during the coming days will make a huge difference to the outcome of this year’s event, but like always it will certainly be difficult. Graham likes it when the conditions are super challenging, so we’re confident that he can again fight for a good result. Billy’s been busy in recent weeks testing and riding. While he doesn’t have the experience that Graham does, he’s raced here enough to know what to expect and is looking forward to it. Alfredo has also been busy and is really ready for this race. Romaniacs is very special, very different to all other races, so we know everyone must take things one day at a time. You never know what’s coming at Romaniacs, which is part of the reason why, as a team, that we like it so much.”

Round five of the World Enduro Super Series takes place in Sibiu, Romania from July 30 to August 3.

Graham Jarvis – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing

Photos: Husqvarna Motorcycles Press

Team HRC’s Tim Gajser increased his lead at the top of the 2019 world motocross championship table to 177 points after finishing second overall at the MXGP of the Czech Republic. Watched on by a record number of Slovenian fans who made the journey north to watch their Honda CRF450RW-riding hero, the #243 rode solidly throughout both races to secure his podium position, his eighth in a row. Teammate Brian Bogers also had a good day, placing ninth in race one, before finishing just outside the top 10 in race two.

On the hard pack Loket track, Gajser made two good starts, placing inside the top three in both races and with passing opportunities limited due to the lack of line options, he settled for two second places to score 44 points on the day. This was good enough for second overall and more importantly, four points more than his nearest championship rival which left the gap at 177 with just 250 points left to race for. Unfortunately, it does mean his winning streak ended at a record-breaking seven, but the vast number of Slovenian fans didn’t care one bit as the double World Champion took another massive step towards title number three.

Taking a risky outside gate pick in both motos, Bogers stormed around the first corner in race one in fifth position. Holding a good speed early on, he eventually succumbed to arm pump on a track that was really tricky to go fast on. By the end of the race, he crossed the line in ninth place which was still inside the top 10, his goal at the beginning of the moto. Unfortunately, the outside gate pick didn’t pay off in race two and he rounded the first bend outside the top 20. Making a lot of quick passes early on, he managed to work his way up to 13th by the midpoint of the race and although his pace was good, he could only finish in 12th, which was enough for 11th overall.

Next weekend the MXGPs head to Lommel for one of the toughest tests of the year as the riders have to deal with the deep sand in the north of Belgium. It is certainly a much different surface than the hard pack surface they found this weekend in Loket, but as Gajser has proved over the last 13 rounds, he is capable on every type of terrain. He also knows that with a couple more good results, his dream of a third world championship title becomes ever nearer. Bogers is also looking forward to racing at a track that he grew up riding on and will once again set his sights on the MXGP top 10 when the gate drops in Lommel on Sunday 4thAugust.

Tim Gajser  243

The track was really tough, it was hard and slick so I didn’t feel so comfortable on the track, but I’m quite happy with how the motos turned out. I took two good starts and I was riding smart and I didn’t want to push too much because it was easy to make a mistake. Overall it was a good weekend and I’m happy I could give all the Slovenian fans something to cheer about. They support me so much on the track and I could really hear them around the start straight bend each lap. So many of them made the trip and I am just really thankful for every one of them and it is just an awesome feeling to be out there and celebrating with them.

Brian Bogers  189

I’m quite happy with the results today. In the first moto I got a good start and was in fifth and I felt good there. I showed some good speed at the beginning of the race but then I got arm pump and had to slow down. Still, I finished ninth and that’s good. Unfortunately the start didn’t work in the second race and I had to start from around 20th. I fought back to 12th though and I’m happy with how I rode. It was much better than Indonesia and it was important to bounce back. I’m certainly looking forward to next weekend on a sand track that I enjoy riding on.

Marcus Pereira de Freitas

HRC General Manager – MXGP

It was a really professional performance from Tim this weekend, despite being under a lot of pressure with all his fans that came to visit. The track was difficult to ride, and he made sure that he finished in second place, rather than take risks in order to go for the win. Of course we would have loved to have seen him on top of the podium for the eighth race in a row, but the championship is the main focus and he did what he needed to do, and that was extend his lead at the top of the championship even further.
Brian also rode well in both races and can consider himself unlucky not to have finished inside the top 10 overall. It was great to see him and Tim up near the front in the early stages of race one and we hope that he can manage to do the same again in Lommel, on a track that should really suit him.

Rider Standings

Pos. Rider Num Nation Points Team
1 GAJSER Tim 243 SLO 582 Team HRC – MXGP
2 SEEWER Jeremy 91 SWI 405 Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team
3 PAULIN Gautier 21 FRA 379 Wilvo Yamaha MXGP
4 TONUS Arnaud 4 SWI 373 Wilvo Yamaha MXGP
5 CAIROLI Antonio 222 ITA 358 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
6 JASIKONIS Arminas 27 LTU 327 Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing
7 COLDENHOFF Glenn 259 NDL 309 Standing Construct KTM
8 VAN HOREBEEK Jeremy 89 BEL 300 Honda SR Motoblouz
9 JONASS Pauls 41 LAT 297 Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing
10 FEBVRE Romain 461 FRA 293 Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team
11 ANSTIE Max 99 GBR 237 Standing Construct KTM
12 DESALLE Clement 25 BEL 208 Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing
13 MONTICELLI Ivo 128 ITA 189 iFly JK Racing
14 LIEBER Julien 33 BEL 184 Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing
15 BOGERS Brian 189 NDL 165 Team HRC – MXGP
16 SIMPSON Shaun 24 GBR 146 RFX KTM Racing
17 LEOK Tanel 7 EST 142 A1M Husqvarna
18 SEARLE Tommy 100 GBR 112 Bike It DRT Kawasaki
19 LUPINO Alessandro 77 ITA 107 Gebben V Venrooy Kawasaki
20 TIXIER Jordi 911 FRA 86 Team VHR KTM Racing
21 PATUREL Benoit 6 FRA 65 Gebben V Venrooy Kawasaki
22 STRIJBOS Kevin 22 BEL 60 JWR Yamaha Racing
23 BRYLYAKOV Vsevolod 18 RUS 58 JWR Yamaha Racing
24 HERLINGS Jeffrey 84 NDL 57 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
25 GOLE Anton 297 SWE 30 iFly JK Racing
26 LUSBO Andero 621 EST 29 Wildcard Rider
27 STEWART Lewis 336 AUS 29 Wildcard Rider
28 PETROV Petar 152 BUL 24 Team Honda Red Moto
29 COLES Adam 227 AUS 22 Wildcard Rider
30 BUTRON Jose 17 SPA 18 JD Gunnex KTM Racing Team

Photos: Honda Racing Corporation

The Repsol Honda Team rider has been crowned 2019 TrialGP World Champion. Toni Bou, who triumphed in the French trial, takes his tally of consecutive title wins to 13 in TrialGP, in addition to the 13 indoor trophies. 26 titles for the greatest rider in history!

“This is not a miracle, it’s a legend” reads the slogan printed across the Repsol Honda Team commemorative t-shirts for the 26th Toni Bou world title. The latest trial victory, the seventh of the season, means that Toni Bou mathematically seals the TrialGP World Champion title for the thirteenth time in a row.

The Repsol Honda Team rider was a cut above the rest from the get-go in a trial full of long, steep sections and Bou was clearly feeling at ease as evidenced by the mere nine marks accrued throughout. The trial or the title never looked in question. The triumph is the 111th victory for Toni Bou in Trial World Championships as well as the thirteenth consecutive trial win since Andorra last season. The Repsol Honda Team star has made a clean streak so far in the 2019 Trial World Championship, with one event still to contest.

Team-mate Takahisa Fujinami finished in fifth position on the day. ‘Fujigas’ rode a notable first lap with good sensations but went into the second lap and began to collect marks and eventually had to settle for fifth position. In the championship standings, Fujinami sits fourth in the rankings with everything to play for at the final event.

The next trial for the Repsol Honda Team will be the final round of the TrialGP World Championship set to take place on 21st and 22nd September in La Nucia, Spain.

Toni Bou

TRIAL: 1ST   STANDINGS: 1ST

Today was a day where I had to work hard to make any difference, especially during the opening sections. But that is what we did and we made it to section eight on zero. I think I rode an intelligent trial. I felt very comfortable on the bike. As always, there is no better way to win a new title than with a victory and with good feelings. It was a short but intense world championship. I think that this season we have matured a lot. Last year we had so many injuries, this year we have been very comfortable on the bike, which we’ve seen reflected in the wins and the riding, so now it’s time to savour the moment and enjoy the holidays.

Takahisa Fujinami

TRIAL: 5TH   STANDINGS: 4TH

During the first lap around the sections, I felt very confident with the bike and I cleaned many of the sections and was tied with Busto in second. By the second lap I have already started to feel that the pace was not good enough. In the end I finished fifth, which was not bad. But hey, that’s the way trials are and at the moment I’m fourth time of the championship. Now for the final event in Spain. I also wish to congratulate Toni Bou, the family and the whole team for his 26th World Championship because they have all worked really hard. I am very happy to be his team-mate.

Miquel Cirera

Team Manager

Celebrating a title is always great. First of all I want to thanks and congratulate Toni as always. Congratulate all the team of doctors who helped us, the HRC team, the Honda team and everyone who helped Toni. Obviously congratulations to his closest associates, the mechanics. We have all done a great job. This season Toni started in very good shape, that’s why he has been able to win all the trials which we’ve been in until today. As we always say, ‘He’s a monster!’ And as we have put on the shirt. “This is not a miracle, it’s a legend”. We can’t ask for anything more, if we could, we would add more, year after year.
Today Fujinami tried hard but it wasn’t to be. Trials are like that and the rivals are very strong. Congratulations to him because he always fights and gives it his best shot. Now we have the final trial at home and as always we will do everything to win.
Last, I want to congratulate Toni and Gabriel Marcelli, from Trial2, that helps to get another constructors title.

Rider Standings

Pos. Rider Num Nation Points Team
1 BOU Toni 1 SPA 140 Repsol Honda Team
2 RAGA Adam 67 SPA 113 TRRS Factory Team
3 FAJARDO Jeroni 2 SPA 95 Gas Gas
4 FUJINAMI Takahisa 6 JPN 88 Repsol Honda Team
5 BUSTO Jaime 69 SPA 77 Vertigo Factory Team
6 DABILL James 22 GBR 68 Beta Factory Racing
7 CASALES Jorge 33 SPA 65 Vertigo Factory Team
8 BINCAZ Benoit 73 FRA 53 Beta Factory Racing
9 KADLEC Franz 66 GER 53 TRRS Factory Team
10 GELABERT Miquel 9 SPA 50 Sherco Factory Team
11 PRICE Jack 34 GBR 36 Gas Gas
12 FARRE Arnau 19 SPA 21 Team Jotagas
13 PEACE Dan 38 GBR 19 Sherco Factory Team
14 NOGUERA Oriol 13 SPA 10 Team Jotagas
15 RIVA  Andrea 96 ITA 9 TRRS Factory Team
16 KUROYAMA Kenichi 98 JPN 7 Yamaha Racing
17 NOZAKI Fumitaka 99 JPN 3 Yamaha Racing
18 OGAWA Tomoyuki 97 JPN 3 Honda

Photos: Pep Segales / Honda Racing Corporation

There were six different winners in seven rounds of competition this season, but, in the end, there could only be one champion and this year it was Seth Reardon.

The Whanganui rider was heavily favoured to wrap up the main title in this season’s Yamaha and Mitas Tyres-sponsored New Zealand Enduro Championships and that’s what he did at the weekend’s double-header, the final two rounds of the series near Hokitika on Friday and Saturday.

Christchurch international Hamish Macdonald (Sherco), at home for a seven-week spell as the FIM Enduro GP World Championships take their regular (Northern Hemisphere) summer break, dominated both days at Hokitika.

But these two race days were his only appearances in New Zealand this year and so he was never likely to be a title contender. It was a similar story with several of the other event winners too.

Helensville’s Tom Buxton (KTM) won round one of the series near Whangamata in March, Cambridge rider Dylan Yearbury (Husqvarna) clinched the win at round two near Porirua in April, Thames rider Chris Birch (KTM) topped the podium at round three near Tokoroa two weeks later, Reardon (Yamaha) won round four near Martinborough on June 9 and Rotorua’s Bradley Lauder (Husqvarna) won round five near Masterton on the last weekend of June.

However, overseas riding commitments meant neither Buxton, Yearbury or Birch could mount a full domestic campaign this year, virtually ruling themselves out of New Zealand title contention.

The 21-year-old Reardon therefore began his weekend near Hokitika with a massive 23-point advantage over his nearest challenger, Cambridge’s Beau Taylor (Husqvarna), and when Reardon finished third on Friday and then third again on Saturday it was job done.

Reardon earned the ‘overall’ trophy for the premier AA Grade (formerly referred to as Expert), ahead of Taylor and Tokoroa’s Jake Wightman (KTM).

Masterton’s Philip Bly (KTM) won the A Grade (formerly referred to as Intermediate), finishing ahead of Thames rider Natasha Cairns (KTM) and Omihi’s Ethan McBreen (Husqvarna).

“It was a bit wet on Friday, but conditions were perfect on Saturday,” said Motorcycling New Zealand enduro commissioner Justin Stevenson. “The host Westland Motorcycle Club named it the ‘Mud Fest’ for a reason, but I think everyone enjoyed the two days. There had been 10 consecutive days of rain around Hokitika leading up to the event, so it was about as good as it was going to get. The organising club did a great job of running the event. It was certainly a challenge for everyone involved, riders and event crew alike, but they coped well. We are already talking with clubs about events for next season and hope to use some new venues too. We are also looking now ahead to the extreme series, set to kick off at Whangamata in September.”

The various class winners this season were Reardon (Yamaha, E1, up to 200cc 2-stroke, up to 300cc 4-stroke); Stratford’s Josh Hunger (Husqvarna, E2, 201cc+ 2-stroke); Christchurch’s Josh Dando (Husqvarna, E3, 301cc + 4-stroke); Whangarei’s Adrian Broughton (KTM, Vet 1, 40yrs +); Thames’ Natasha Cairns (KTM, women); Masterton’s Philip Bly (KTM, Vet 2, 50-54yrs); Auckland’s Jeff Van Hout (KTM, Vet 3, 55yrs +).

New Zealand Top Trail Riders Championship class winners were Omihi’s Ethan McBreen (Husqvarna, TTR1 up to 200cc 2-stroke, up to 300cc 4-stroke); Pakotai’s Josh Alexander (KTM, TTR2 201cc + 2-stroke, up to 301cc+ 4-stroke); Upper Hutt’s Kevin Birdsall (Honda, Vet 4 40yrs +).

The 2019 Yamaha NZ Enduro Championships are supported by Mitas tyres, Macaulay Metals, Best Build Construction, Silver-bullet, Kiwi Rider magazine, Dirt Rider Downunder magazine and Moto Events NZ.

Words and Photo by Andy McGechan

The Silk Way Rally, the second round of the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship, has concluded in Dunhuang, China, with all three of the Monster Energy Honda Team trio crossing the finish-line after more than 5,000 kilometres of rally.

The Silk Way Rally came to an end in Dunghuang some ten days after getting underway in the Russian city of Irkutsk and crossing from the north to the south of Mongolia on the maiden appearance of the motorcycle category in the competition. En route competitors had to deal with nine stages packed with a multitude of terrain types on territory as yet unchartered for most of the bikers involved. All three Monster Energy Honda Team riders managed to make it to the end of the rough ordeal. The arduous 5,000 km slog brings a wealth of experience to each of the riders as well as producing some crucial information that will help to further develop the Honda CRF450 RALLY.

Kevin Benavides, who took fourth overall place in the rally, also snatched four stage victories to become the rider with most wins in the special timed stages. In spite of having shown some serious on-track clout, the Argentinean fell foul of a note of the roadbook misinterpreted which effectively curtailed chances of overall victory.

Joan Barreda’s fall while in contention with the front-runners likewise ruled the Spaniard out of the battle for the final glory. Barreda displayed high-speed and showed fine race pace throughout the rally and, over various stages, held top positions for lengthy stretches.

 

Chilean rider José Ignacio was also demonstrating improved handling, in spite of some of the adverse conditions on the Russian routes. Nevertheless, the rider was progressing in leaps and bounds until a penalization put paid to chances of finishing among the top guns.

 

“It was a tough race for everyone,” outlined Monster Energy Honda Team’s Sporting Director, Ruben Faria. “This was a new date in the calendar and a brand new adventure as we faced three unknown countries with different languages. It really was a great adventure for everyone involved. It didn’t turn out to be the result that we were looking for but we did manage to finish the rally with all three of the bikes and all the riders made it to the end without any physical problems which is also important. The next race will be the Atacama Rally and hopefully the luck that was missing in this race will accompany us in that one. We have learned a lot from this race and we will keep working so that things go even better in Chile.”

The next race for the Monster Energy Honda Team will be the Atacama Rally. The third round of the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship will have the Chilean city of Copiapó as its nerve-centre. Riders can expect a curtain-raising prologue and five stages from 2nd to 7th September.

Photos: Honda Racing Corporation